The Huffington Post and TMZ are reporting that Halle Berry and Gabriel Aubry have moved beyond just battling for custody of their daughter, Nahla. In the wake of Berry’s allegations that Aubry called her the n-word, they’re now in disagreement about their toddler’s racial identity.
According to TMZ, Berry told Ebony magazine, “I feel she’s black. I’m black and I’m her mother, and I believe in the one-drop theory.”
The one-drop rule, of course, is a historical concept that originally referred to the idea that a person with any trace of sub-Saharan ancestry, however small or invisible, could not legally be considered white, unless he or she could claim an alternative nonwhite ancestry.
Its roots are in slavery and segregation, but the racism behind those concepts isn’t necessarily invoked every time someone uses it. It’s been reclaimed to reflect what many African Americans see as a social reality. We at The Root don’t think its use is quite as scandalous as the mainstream media is making it out to be.
Meanwhile, TMZ has reported that Aubry insists Nahla is white and, according to sources, goes “nuts” anytime someone refers to her as black.
Note to Berry and Aubry: Each of you is entitled to your opinions, but this one is not up to you — or, for that matter, anyone except the kid you created. Eventually Nahla is going to decide for herself (probably based on a combination of how she looks, how she feels and how she understands the racial landscape of her world) whether she’ll identify as black, white, other or some category we haven’t even thought of yet. Because that’s what you get to do with your own race. Neither an archaic “rule,” a racist freak-out, nor a TMZ poll will resolve this one.
We think Berry should stay focused on keeping Nahla far away from a father who — if the allegations are true — uses racial slurs and is repulsed by whatever number of “drops” of black his daughter may possess.
Read more at the Huffington Post.